Motifs: what they are for, how to use them, and other things you can do with a selected area.

Note, over time, new features are introduced into our software regularly and some screen layouts change.
Everything discussed below is still valid, although some screen layouts will now vary.

A motif is simply a piece of design that you might want to re-use at a later time.
While you could keep a few charts open and copy and paste between them, it makes sense to have a library of useful shapes on hand to be able to repeat work.

For example, you may have some flowers designed, or cakes, which you use to make samplers for birthdays or thank-you gifts.

The program has a lot of motifs already, but let’s start by showing you how to create a new one.

First, open the program, and draw something you might want to re-use.
Here, we drew a simple flower.


Using the Select tool on the toolbar, we can select an area around the flower:
select tool

To select an area, click this button, and drag the mouse from top left to bottom right of the shape.

When you release the mouse, a small popup menu will appear.
This offers a number of options for ‘things you might want to do with this selection’
They are listed below, but for now, the first thing to use is ‘Copy’
So select ‘Copy’ from the popup menu.

Once you have copied an area, you can paste it anywhere you like.
So move around until you find an empty spot, then choose Edit/Paste from the Edit menu, or press CMD-V (mac) or CTRL-V (PC)

You will now have a copy of the flower moving around under the control of the mouse.
When it lies in the correct place, click the left mouse button to place it.

Pasted Graphic 4
(yes, this is a different flower..:>)

You will probably find that after you paste, the flower motif remains on screen and can be pasted over and over again.
Some people like the program to work like that: it makes it easy to build up a row of flowers, for example.
Some people prefer it to paste once, then use CMD-V to paste it again.

To stop pasting,

(if it continues), just click on the full stitches icon on the toolbar, or press the ESCAPE button.

There is a preference setting that determines whether the pasting should continue or stop after the first click.
Open the Preferences dialog, and look for ‘Stop on first click after Paste/Fill/Outline’

Pasted Graphic 6

If this is ticked, pasting happens once.
If unticked, pasting continues until you start doing something else or press escape.

Copy and paste is fine when you are working
today, but if you want to use that flower again next week, the best way to re-use it is to save it as a motif.

To save as a Motif:

Select the flower as above, but this time instead of choosing ‘Copy’ from the menu, choose ‘Save this area as a motif’

This will take you to a screen where you can save the selection with a specific name, inside a folder called ‘Motifs’
The Motifs folder can have sub folders: you can create a folder of any name you like.
Save your motif in a folder.

Pasted Graphic 5

Since this is a flower, we’ll open the flowers folder and save it in there.

Re-Using an existing Motif.

Once you have some motifs saved, you can re-use them in a new chart.
The program ships with many motifs already.

To open a Saved Motif, first click on the Motifs button at the bottom left hand side.

This displays the Motif Organiser instead of the palette.
motifs list

Our flower is shown here, along with other existing motifs.
Just click on the flower, and you can start pasting as before.

To switch to another motif, just click on a different one.
And as earlier, to stop pasting, click on the full cross icon on the toolbar, or press ESCAPE.

Deleting a Motif:

Over time , you may build up a selection of motifs you no longer want.
To delete a motif, use the right mouse button (CTRL-Click on a Mac), on the motif you no longer need.
A popup menu will appear: choose ‘Delete ’ from the list, and the motif will be permanently removed.

Speciality Stitches:
A motif remembers the colors used to draw it.
If those colors exist in the chart, they will be used for the motif.
If not, then pasting a motif will add the ‘missing’ colors to the palette, until there are 255 colors.
If we reach 255 colors , then the colors of the motif will be mapped to existing colors, which might cause the color of the motif to change a little.

Speciality Stitches:

A speciality stitch is a special kind of motif.
Instead of mapping the colors, when you add a Speciality Stitch, it is pasted using the color currently selected in the palette.
In this way, a motif made up of backstitches (like hardanger shapes) can be pasted using any of the colors in the palette, instead of the colors used to save it.

What else can we do with an area?

The popup menu that appears when you select an area on screen , contains many more options than just copy and ‘save as motif’


Having selected an area, you could:

Cut: .. This deletes stitches from screen and copies them to the clipboard.
Erase: This deletes stitches from screen but does not copy them.. useful for deleting larger areas and backgrounds.
Move: This deletes the stitches, copies to the clipboard, and immediately puts you into ‘paste’ mode so you can paste somewhere else.
Crop To This Area: This option discards everything from the chart apart from the area you selected.
Delete Rows/Columns: This removes rows or columns from the design and moves everything up to take up the space.
Flip or Rotate This Area: Takes the stitches and rotates them or flips them left to right/upside down, and then pits you into Paste mode. Useful when you want to create mirror images, like bookends.

Erase backstitch from this area: Useful when you have a lot of backstitches.. select an area and erase them all at once instead of one at a time.
Save selected area as Motif or Speciality Stitch.. covered above

Show Chart Comments in this area: Inserts a text box onto the design, holding the words typed into the properties box. (See File menu/Properties)
Add Copyright here: Same thing, but the copyright from the properties box.
Show Logo in this area: Inserts a picture. The picture is the logo file, which you can set up in the Preferences menu.

Add Text Box here: inserts a text box where you can free type a small message.